KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Having a Christmas tree can add a lovely ambiance to a home during the holiday season, but for those who find their tree doesn’t last long enough, these tips can help.
The most important things to remember with a Christmas tree are the safety rules. A beautifully decorated tree is not worth the risk if it poses fire hazards. The U.S. Fire Administration suggests the following measures to keep your tree, and home, safe:
- Keep candles at least one foot away from anything that burns, including the tree.
- Water your tree every day, as dry trees can catch on fire easily.
- Read the manufacturer’s instructions for the number of light strands to connect.
- Keep the tree at least three feet away from heat sources, like fireplaces, radiators, space heaters, or heat vents. Also, don’t block exits with the tree.
- Once the tree is dry, get rid of it.
The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance adds that when placing a tree, be sure to cut two inches from the base of the trunk, not to leave a live tree up for longer than two weeks, and to turn off decorative lights before leaving the home or going to bed.
With the proper information to keep a tree safe, here are the tips to keep it alive longer.
Use LED Lights
According to a report in Smithsonian Magazine, researchers found that using LED Christmas lights, specifically red or white LED bulbs, was beneficial for needle retention because it helps the tree continue photosynthesis.
This process may help keep trees looking greener, since, during photosynthesis, plants absorb blue and red light waves to process light into sugar while reflecting the green light waves, according to an explanation from National Geographic.
Keep the tree hydrated
The secret to keeping a tree alive seems to be making sure that it stays hydrated, according to one blog. Their suggestions include keeping the tree in a cool area, cutting off two inches right across the bottom of the tree, and putting it into water right away.
A fresh tree may use up to a quart of water for each inch of diameter on its cut end per day, according to Michigan State University. By this measurement, a tree that is 2.5 inches across its widest point at the cut could drink up to two and a half quarts of water every day, which is why it’s important to keep it watered every day and make sure that the stand does not dry out. MSU also added that plain tap water works well and does not need anything added, like sugar, bleach, or aspirin.
In addition to avoiding a fire hazard, keeping the tree in a cooler space may help it live longer, according to an author writing for Martha Stewart. Essentially, they explain that the warmer the tree gets, the more water it will use. In addition to keeping the tree away from vents, radiators and fireplaces, it may also be helpful to consider decoration options that are cooler as well.
Some might opt for a minimal style for their tree that foregoes lights altogether or LED lights can also provide that dazzling look without less heat created by the lights, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.